So it’s dark, before dawn, on a cold open field
Full of yawning magicians, these Druids, who really
Had serious reasons for leaving their bunks
And disturbing the neighborhood’s rabbits, and skunks.
There they stand, statue-still, in this big semi-circle,
Surrounding a towering doorway of stonework.
All solemn and silent, like soldiers of corn,
Tall with anticipation this miracle morning.
Then THERE. There it is. There’s the Sun; the horizon
Is suddenly brightening, shimmering. Eyes on
The carved boulder doorway unblinking, uncertain
If some winking demon will slam shut night’s curtain.
But no. It’s the sunrise they’ve prayed for for days,
For this road made of light paved with radiant rays
Rolling right through the center of towering granite.
(The crowd’s so excited they almost can’t stan’ it.)
* * *
Movie over. We’re back from that intro to Imbolc;
Where sky was an egg and the Sun was the yolk.
It’s a festival marking the tiny remarkable
Changes of season, a hint with a sparkle
That falls in the middle—a marvelous thing—
Between Day 1 of winter and Day 1 of Spring,
Between Solstice and Equinox; blizzards and showers
Surrender to eager and brave little flowers.
* * *
Now Knowers who know things think Imbolc got started
In ancient-days Scotland and Ireland, sort of a party
To honor a powerful Goddess,
The bringer of lingering light. But the oddest
Thing is that she’s called an arrangement of names
By the Celts and the Scholars, the Christians and Pagans.
O’Kin and Mac Ancestors worshipped a “Brighid”
(You end it with D, but the rest spins like “Fidget.”)
For church goers nowadays Brighid’s a saint;
She’s a clever-girl Goddess so who says she ain’t?
And traditional speakers of Scottish and Irish.
Their tag for her? Well, there’s a lot to admire-ish:
Written, it’s “Bride” or it’s “Brid,” pronounced Breed.
Like the bird that you feed with a sunflower seed.
Back then folks believed Brighid-the-Good-Witch at Imbolc
Would come in the night and leave blessings in bulk.
And since wintertime weather kept people at home,
Any “Breed” celebrating—a story or poem—
Was performed by the fireplace (wonderful smell):
Be it songs from the youngest (her voice like a bell),
Or a jig from the Grandmama (nimble no longer),
Or lighting of candles so summer grows stronger.
On nice afternoons, in the warm of midday,
One might visit a Holy Well, (formerly Faeries’)
And walk round it “sunwise,” that’s clockwise, to strengthen
The change of the season, the days as they lengthen.
* * *
Rejoice that it’s Imbolc. We made it. We won!
And we welcome—at last!—extra seconds of Sun.
Ted Enik © 2022